Peoples from the Arab World have been migrating to San Francisco for over a hundred years. The earliest were mostly from the Levant: Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine; and also Yemen. Most recent immigrants coming from North Africaâs Magrib region (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) and Iraq since the first Gulf War. Why did they come here? How have they affected SF life? What are their ongoing connections to âhomelandsâ across the world? San Francisco, being a liberal progressive oasis, attracts many gay and lesbian Arabs as a home away from home. This Talk will also examine the gay and lesbian struggle in the context of conservatism in the Arab World, showing how Arab conservatism was created, encouraged and spread as a result of western interference. Monadel Herzallah (Arab American Union Members Council) Renda Dabit (Palestinian American artist, activist, and business woman), Maher Sabry, (Egyptian human-rights activist and filmmaker). Recorded March 12, 2008 as part of Shaping San Francisco's Talks series at CounterPULSE.